Yogurt has gained a lot of popularity over the years and has been credited with numerous health benefits in several studies. Recent research from BMC Medicine suggests that yogurt also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Other dairy products tested in the study did not show the same health effects.
The BMC Medicine study includes data on 194,519 individuals from three cohort studies. Approximately 15,000 people from the studies were reported to have developed diabetes over several years. It was determined that yogurt consumption significantly decreased the likelihood of developing the disease. The team also concluded that about 28 grams of yogurt per day lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18 percent. Other research studies performed in the past are also believed to reinforce this claim, however, researchers are not entirely sure why the link exists. Frank Hu, the study’s lead author and researcher, states,
The mechanisms are not well understood at this point. One hypothesis is that the probiotics in yogurt may help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, but this hypothesis needs to be tested in randomized clinical trials.”
Another possible reason for this correlation could be the high protein content in yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) which may reduce hunger levels and lead to eating less. Additionally, magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients found in yogurt could be the reason behind its health benefits reported in the studies. It is also a possibility that people who eat yogurt simply lead a healthier lifestyle which can lead to lower possibilities of developing the disease.
Additional research is needed to support these studies, however, consumers may want to consider incorporating more yogurt into their daily diets. It is also important not to forget other components that have been proven to reduce the risk of diabetes such as eating a plant-based diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body weight. It is also important to be aware that some yogurts available in stores are quite high in added sugar. Therefore, it may be best to purchase plain yogurt and add fruit to it for more natural sweetness.
Read more here – “Yogurt May Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk,” (Alice Walton, Forbes).
Anna is a current student at The George Washington University in Washington, DC with a concentration in Marketing and Communication. She specializes in social media outreach and has experience working in government contracting.